At four p.m. the next day, I took the Thurso coach and passed over in the night the whole distance that had occupied me a week in travelling by staff. Stopped a night in Inverness, another at Elgin, and spent the Sabbath with my friend, Anthony Cruickshank, at Sittyton, about fifteen miles north of Aberdeen.
ANTHONY CRUICKSHANK—THE GREATEST HERD OF SHORTHORNS IN THE WORLD— RETURN TO LONDON AND TERMINATION OF MY TOUR.
Sittyton designates hardly a village in Aberdeenshire, but it has become a point of great interest to the agricultural world—a second Babraham. In this quiet, rural district, Anthony Cruickshank, a quiet, modest, meek-voiced member of the Society of Friends, “generally called Quakers,” has made a history and a great enterprise of vast value to the world. He is one of those four-handed but one-minded men who, with a pair to each, build up simultaneously two great businesses so symmetrically that you would think they gave their whole intellect, will and genius to one. Anthony Cruickshank, the Quaker of Sittyton, has made but little more noise in the world than Nature makes in building up some of her great and beautiful structures. His footsteps were so light and gentle that few knew that he was running at all, until they saw him lead the racers by a head at the end of the course. The world is wide, and dews of every temperature fall upon its meadow and pasture lands. Vast regions are fresh and green all the year round, yielding food for cattle seemingly in the best conditions created for their growth and perfection. The highest nobility and gentry of this and other countries are giving to the living statuary of these animals that science, taste and genius which the most enthusiastic artists are giving to the still but speaking statuary of the canvas. The competition in this cultivation of animal life is wide and eager, and spreading fast over Christendom; emperors, kings, princes, dukes and belted barons are on the lists. Antipodean agriculturists meet in the great international concours of cattle, horses, sheep and swine. Never was royal blood or the inheritance of a crown threaded through divergent veins to its source with more care and pride than the lineage of these four-footed “princes” and “princesses,” “dukes” and “duchesses,” and “knights” and “ladies” of the stable and pasture. No peerage ever kept a more jealous heraldry than the herd-book of this great quadruped noblesse. The world, by consent, has crowned the Shorthorn Durham as the best blood that ever a horned animal carried in its veins. Princely connoisseurs and amateurs, and all the dilettanti as well as practical agriculturists of Christendom, are giving more thought to the perfection and perpetuation of this blood than to any other name and breed. Still—and this distinction is crowned with double merit by the fact—Anthony Cruickshank, draper of Aberdeen,